Wednesday Round-Up: Atlantis Found (Again), "Oak Island" Says Mi'kmaq Worshiped White Man as a God, and AltRight.com Teams Up with Red Ice Media
Yesterday, the publicists for the National Geographic Channel offered me the chance to interview Simcha Jacobovici and Richard Freund about their new documentary, Atlantis Rising, which will air on NatGeo on January 29. The two will be doing a series of interviews to promote the show, which will allege that a set of six Bronze Age stone anchors found on the Atlantic side of the Strait of Gibraltar is evidence of a wealthy maritime civilization that inspired Plato’s Atlantis. The documentary was produced with the help of James Cameron, who declined to make himself available for interviews. Jacobovici is the TV producer who famously alleged that Jesus did not die on the cross but was buried with his wife Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem’s Talpiot Tomb. Freund is the biblical archaeologist who previously “discovered” Atlantis in Spain in a 2011 NatGeo documentary widely criticized by archaeologists for false claims and for appropriating without proper credit discoveries others made.
Is Oak Island Really the New Atlantis of Francis Bacon? Randall Sullivan Says His "Best Guess" Based on "Things I've Heard" Is Yes!
I hadn’t written much about this week’s episode of Curse of Oak Island, mostly because I find it hard to gin up much enthusiasm for watching construction equipment move earth. If I wanted to see that, I can watch it live at the dozens of construction sites around town. Plus, I was busy this week with more interesting things to do. Anyway, I eventually got around to taking a look at the episode, and it turns out that they had a crazy conspiracy this week, offered by another in the parade of know-nothing pseudo-experts who pretend to have vast insights that they can never quite back up.
Scott Wolter Tries to Prove That the Knights Templar Calculated New England Longitudes. It Did Not Go Well.
A few weeks ago, when Curse of Oak Island introduced the modern “copies” of allegedly medieval maps owned by researcher Zena Halpern, many viewers questioned the fact that the map shown on screen seemed to show accurate lines of longitude long before a reliable method for accurately calculating longitude had been discovered. While the most parsimonious explanation is that the Halpern map is a modern fake, former television personality Scott F. Wolter has instead argued that the maps prove that the Knights Templar (whom he suspects of creating them) were able to accurately measure longitude, despite accidentally proving that he is himself unfamiliar with how longitude is measured and reported.
Early Saturday morning, in the wee hours, former television personality Scott Wolter appeared on Coast to Coast A.M. (audio behind paywall) to discuss the so-called Jesus Ossuary, a first century funeral box inscribed with a name some interpret to be that of Jesus, with guest host David Schrader. I must admit that I don’t get the appeal of these kinds of talk radio shows. What do they sound like to people who aren’t already steeped in fringe history? If I didn’t already know about Scott Wolter and his work, I don’t think that the interview would have made any sense at all. Are listeners expected to come to shows like these already up to date on the latest crazy-quilt of claims?
David Wilcock Embraces Fake Pizzagate Conspiracy, Calls on Trump Administration to Jail Satanic Liberal Elites
Regular readers will remember that Ancient Aliens star David Wilcock revealed his self-described mental health issues in his most recent book, The Ascension Mysteries. (My review: • Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 •) Since then, he has remained mostly silent, but this week he delivered a bizarre and rambling blog post in which he alleged that in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the formerly all-powerful global conspiracy of evil liberal alien monsters has collapsed and will try to use “disclosure” to distract the public from efforts to expose the evil Cabal. He suggested the disclosure path will take the form of At the Mountains of Madness, where the revelation of the ruins of an alien city in Antarctica will “be far more distracting than any 9/11-style catastrophe.” Take that for what it’s worth.
Scott Wolter Appears on Jimmy Church Radio, Attacks Critics, Says Claims Should Be Believed Until Proven False
Scott Wolter appeared on Jimmy Church’s radio show last night for a nearly three-hour discussion that ranged from Wolter’s usual hobbyhorses (the Kensington Rune Stone, of course) to eccentric discussions about the forensic geologist’s taste in music and his Protestant belief that “organized faith” is preventing humans from having a direct relationship with God. The majority of the interview was devoted to Oak Island, a subject Wolter previously claimed was not of interest to him, but the first hour was spent discussing Wolter’s dislike of critics, whom he calls “trolls.” Wolter, who frequently accuses scholars of conspiracy and fraud, complained that academics refuse to engage in “civil discourse.” “I get mad at myself sometimes when I get caught up in it,” he said, “you know, carping back at them or saying something to get back at them.” In a moment of reflection, he said, “Am I doing the same thing that I am accusing them of doing? And sometimes I am.”
On NPR on Wednesday, CNN’s conservative commentator and Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes demonstrated astonishing hypocrisy when the opponent of all things “liberal” embraced postmodernism’s most pernicious interpretation to declare that objective truth no longer exists: “It’s kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” I’m confused: I thought conservatives opposed relativism for destroying Western Civilization. Slimy elites will say anything when convenient to justify the excesses of the powerful.
Last night on The Curse of Oak Island, the program name-checked “forensic geologist Scott Wolter” as one of “a growing number” of “scholars” who allege that the “so-called ‘hooked X’” is a Templar symbol. The team examined a piece of sandstone with an X with a “hook” intentionally scratched into it. Anyone, of course, could have created it at any time. Naturally, this excited the show about Templars again because the producers decided that Templars are the main through-line of the season. It’s still a show about digging holes, and I still find it painfully boring. I will be interested, though, to see whether Wolter’s outrage from last week about having his pet fantasy coopted continues now that the producers have paid him obeisance. In a tweet this morning, Wolter claimed that an X had been scratched atop a natural formation, with the “hook” being natural. “NOT Templar IMHO,” Wolter tweeted.
A week after J. Hutton Pulitzer announced on Facebook that he would not be commenting on the fourth season of Curse of Oak Island, he and business partner Scott Wolter delivered an hour-long podcast analyzing the fourth season of Oak Island. Pulitzer announced in the podcast that he has “retracted” his earlier Facebook posting. Wolter dismissed Curse, which held steady this week with 2.66 million viewers, as a “silly show,” while Pulitzer alleged that Curse of Oak Island’s production company, Prometheus Entertainment, is intentionally incorporating material originally presented on Scott Wolter’s America Unearthed, a show produced by a rival company, Committee Films. During the podcast, Wolter said that he told Prometheus Entertainment not to discuss his so-called “Hooked X®” because he had trademarked the phrase.
Maybe I’ve watched too many quasi-historical documentaries. Maybe fringe history and its more mainstream spinoffs are just extremely limited in imagination. Or maybe the handful of people who are responsible for producing these shows assume the audience doesn’t know or care about more than a small number of the same tired old topics. Whatever it was, this was the week of the instant rerun, which is to say, a show that was freshly shot but contains material so stale you’ve already seen a nearly identical version of the show before it ever aired.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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